All-Region Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year: Makenna Drouin, Edward Little

·3 min read

Jul. 27—Following Makenna Drouin's stellar freshman outdoor track season, Edward Little coach Rebecca Hefty talked to her about the state record for the 300-meter hurdles.

Hefty thought that Drouin could break it, and Drouin wanted to.

It was high goal for such a young athlete, but after winning the 300 hurdles at this spring's Class A state meet, Drouin took first at the New England Championships with a time of 43.74 seconds — a new Maine record, surpassing the previous mark of 43.94, set by Jesse Labreck of Messalonskee in 2008.

"The goal for the outdoor season was to get better," Drouin said. "I also wanted the 300-meter hurdle Maine record, and I got it."

Drouin, a sophomore, also won the 100 hurdles at the Class A state meet (15.56 seconds) and added third-place finishes in the 100-meter (12.31) and the 200-meter (25.78) dashes.

She also has been selected as the Sun Journal's All-Region Girls Track Athlete of the Year.

"At the state meet, I think the focus was so much on the time that she didn't run her race as well as she could," Hefty said. "She did run a personal best time, breaking the 45-second mark (44.95), but we knew she had another chance. Makenna attacks each and every hurdle from the start, which is very helpful, and difficult, in the 300 hurdles. Strategy wise, I knew she had the opportunity, and the race was set up for her to not only win but break the record."

Drouin said that because she paced herself at New Englands, she was able to not only win again but also break the state record.

"I think that I paced myself in the beginning and the other girls did what I usually did, which was run at the beginning instead of pacing yourself at the beginning," Drouin said.

Drouin, who only started running track the spring of 2021, has plenty of speed, so Hefty focused on the sophomore's form this season. The two also worked on competing while facing pressure and expectations after a freshman outdoor season that featured a state title in the 300 hurdles and a runner-up finish in the 100 hurdles.

"Makenna is a very different athlete in many ways," Hefty said. "As a new track athlete last season, there are many lessons to be learned physically, mentally and emotionally. The pressures of being the best is very challenging to maintain that level of fitness.

"I've been coaching for a long time, and I've been fortunate to coach many successful athletes, but she is the first at this caliber. I love the training challenges and the fact she has two more seasons to go."

Drouin said she was more anxious about the sprint events at the state meet than the hurdles.

"I was more nervous in the 100 and the 200 because I knew I had competition in those two," Drouin said.

Bangor's Anna Connors finished first in both sprints and Gorham's Emma Green was runner-up, ahead of Drouin in both races.

"I knew I had two other girls who would be top competition for me, and I thought it went pretty well because I was going for top-three," Drouin said.

Drouin is gearing up to compete at the USATF Junior Olympics Championships in Sacramento, California, this week and then will turn her attention to soccer before another cycle of indoor and outdoor track.

"Makenna has natural talent, but now her training needs to advance to the next level," Hefty said. "Next season will also have a different approach to keep her motivated and even faster."